WDPS & volunteers host 8th annual senior holiday luncheon

Serving 190 drive-thru diners are, front row from left: Samantha Roland (from Fairfield Behavioral Health who received unused drugs that were turned in during the drive-thru), Booker Moore, organizer Lt. Francine Goins, Lt. Oren Gadson, volunteer Janice McGruff, municipal clerk Jessica Guinyard, volunteer Jane Boyter. Back row: volunteer Phyllis Watkins, public safety officers Walter Lamar and James Dickson, Sgt. Anthony Tomashot and volunteer Mary Ashford.

WINNSBORO – For the last eight years, members of the Winnsboro Department of Public Safety and several community volunteers have coordinated and sponsored a Senior Holiday Luncheon for members of the community 65 years and older at the Old Armory.

During COVID, however, the get-together didn’t happen because of pandemic restrictions, but another kind of luncheon did happen – a drive-thru luncheon like the one held last week at the WDPS headquarters.

It lasted from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 16. About 190 seniors signed up and showed up for the event.

According to some of her fellow officers, the luncheon was the brainchild of WDPS Lt. Francine Goins. During the years prior to COVID, Goins served as a community officer, as she still does.  As part of her job, Goins checks on seniors to see if they are ok, if they need anything and just to visit with them.

According to one WDPS officer, Goins organized an annual luncheon at the Armory where the seniors would not only enjoy lunch and fellowship, but would play bingo and other games for which they would win prizes like paper towels and other useful household items.

While COVID posed as a stumbling block to those festivities the last couple of years, Goins  reinstituted the luncheon as a drive-thru event last year and again this year, complete with a hot meal, a box of fresh fruits and vegetables furnished by the Serve & Connect organization and a chance for the seniors to visit with their WDPS friends.

 “it was a wonderful day,” Goins told The Voice. “We look forward to it every year just as much as the seniors do. It was great chatting with them for a few minutes when they stopped to get their meals last week,” Goins said.

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